[Advaita-l] Isavasya Upanisad 9th Mantra

Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Thu May 22 03:16:27 CDT 2014

On Thu, 22 May 2014, Venkatesh Murthy via Advaita-l wrote:

> But why Vidya Rataas will go to Greater Darkness? Adi Sankara has not
> explained this.

I don't have time to copy out the relevant extract of the bhashya right 
now and you can see it in Advaita Sharada anyway but see Isha. Upa. 2 and 
the bhashya thereon.  The rk says one who wishes to live for a 100 years 
(i.e. have a full, happy lifespan) should perform his shastrokta karma.  There 
is no other way to attain felicity in this world.  It is the rebuke to the 
"meditators" and "new age" types.  This type like to be "spiritual" but 
they love their fancy houses and cars too much to take sannyasa.  And they are 
much too busy to waste their time with puja and the like. So they are 
neither here or there.  The Vedas proclaim only two paths -- sannyasa for 
the jnani and karma for the grhastha.  By eschewing both, such people are 
fallen into a greater darkness.

> There is a answer in Swami Nikhilananda's book. He is saying by following
> Karma Marga alone we go to Pitru Loka and return back quickly after staying
> there. But by Upaasana of Gods we go to Deva Loka and enjoy all pleasures
> for a LONG time and then return back to this world. A person going to Pitru
> Loka and coming back quickly will realize he is wasting time in Karma. But
> the man going to Deva Loka will take a LONG time to realize same thing.
> Swami Nikhilananda is saying Deva Loka is like going to Greater Darkness.
> Man going and Pitru Loka and man going to Deva Loka are both making mistake
> but man going to Deva Loka is making bigger mistake.

But even going to devaloka requires following the Vaidika marga which 
these brashta upasakas refuse to do.  So I do not think this explanation, 
though ingenious, is plausible.

> Is this explanation correct in Advaita circles? What is Anandagiri saying?
> Does it mean it is better to follow Karma than Deva Upaasana?

Now see Isha Upa 12 - 15 and bhashya.  Hiranyagarbha as we have seen in 
recent discussion is God as the creator, concerned with this world and 
thus subject to some of its defects such as loneliness and fear.  The 
wrong type of upasaka are called worshippers of this Hiranyagarbha.  That 
doesn't necessarily mean there was a specific Hiranyagarbha sampradaya 
like Shaivas and Vaishnavas (though there might have been) The problem is 
that they only consider this Lord Creator alone and not as part and parcel 
of His creation (prakrti.)  When bhakti to Hiranyagarbha and prakrti is 
done treating them together as one seemless whole it is the most powerful 
upasana and is recommended by the shastras as the gateway to jnana.  But 
bhakti to Ishwara alone and distinct from His creation is just a kind of 
sycophancy of the powerful much as you might flatter some local tyrant. 
Like the first set of Upasakas, these flatterers might outwardly seem 
"spiritual" but really they are only doing it for themselves and thus are 
in a greater darkness than those who are atleast honest in following their 
"material" inclinations.

So the conclusion is for the one who cannot take for whatever reason take 
sannyasa, he should atleast do his shastrokta duties without apeksha for 
pitrloka or devaloka or any other reward.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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